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Gera, M. (2023). “Here, the Hungarian people will decide how to raise our children”: Populist rhetoric and social categorization in Viktor Orbán’s anti-LGBTQ campaign in Hungary. New Perspectives31(2), 104-129.


This paper analyzes how the Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán uses social categorization and populist rhetoric in an anti-LGBTQ campaign. Drawing on social identity theory and the scholarship on populist rhetoric and anti-LGBTQ politics, the article examines 46 interviews, press statements, public speeches, and op-eds by Orbán. Using critical discourse analysis (CDA) and Wodak’s discourse-historical approach, it shows how the prime minister frames LGBTQ communities as an out-group that poses a threat to Hungarian values and way of living. Similar to the issue of immigration and existing anti-LGBTQ frames in other countries, Orbán presents LGBTQ groups within his well-established anti-Western narrative. In addition, he connects LGBTQ communities to other out-groups that have been portrayed as a threat for a long time. The study sheds new light on the linguistic strategies of Orbán and shows how populist rhetoric and social categorization complement each other in a political campaign.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.